LinkedIn Help and Best Practices For All Users
You can use LinkedIn’s help for powerful business networking.
But, if used improperly, you can make yourself look unprofessional. If you don’t yet have a LinkedIn account, we highly recommend setting one up today! We will cover several things you should note when setting up your account. If you already have a profile, there is always room for a little Linkedin help. Follow along below to learn the LinkedIn best practices.
When you’re filling out your profile, it’s best to include details for every segment LinkedIn has available. Keep in mind you want your profile to look as good as possible, but should always be honest. Talk up your greatest achievements! Just don’t stretch the truth. At a minimum you should include:
- Education – Include schools, areas of study, any honors you received, and the years you attended. Include any higher education degrees you have achieved. For most people, your high school is not necessary to add. We only recommend adding your high school if you live and work in a passionate small town.
- Current Job – Think of the job section like a resume. You’ll want to include your title, clear bullet points on what you do, the time you have been in the position, and any other important specifics to your job. It is not necessary to explain what the company does, as this is available on the company LinkedIn page which should be linked.
- Previous Jobs – Keep these as relevant and focused as possible. If you’re currently a high-level leader at your company, you don’t need to include the grocery clerk job you had in high school. These should also include the years, title, and bullet points on what you did in the position.
- Skills – You should add a minimum of three skills. These should be related to your current and past jobs. These can be anything from social media to leadership, and Linkedin can give you suggestions based on your profile. When you add new skills, take a few minutes to endorse the skills of other people in your network. They will get a notification and can encourage them to endorse your skills.
- Connections – Send a request to anyone you know or have worked with personally. People like to see at least 50 connections to make sure it’s a “real” account. Avoid sending requests to individuals you do not know.
It is very important that you have a professional photo of yourself for your profile image. Photos that are more than five years old should not be used, as well as any images where you have cropped out another person. Keep in mind the background that is visible in your profile photo. We’ve seen everything from selfies in bedrooms and bathrooms to cars. None of these project a particularly professional image. If you need to take a selfie to have an image to use, wear a professional top and find a plain, empty wall to use as the backdrop.
The photo will be sized to fit LinkedIn’s requirements of 300X300 pixels. If your photo is too large or too small it can warp the image and leave you looking blurry.
As for the header image, you can update this to something related to your job or business. We highly recommend not changing this unless you have a large, high-quality, business related photo to do so. The minimum size requirement is 1128X191 pixels. We’ve seen many unrelated images used here (including football teams, bicycles, and family photos). Unless your job is directly related to what is depicted in the image, don’t use it.
Networking On LinkedIn: The Dos
The best way to use Linkedin is to connect and stay connected with colleagues, clients, and other people in your business network. But, because LinkedIn is digital, there is a level of care you need to take. Without being in-person, you need to be careful what you say because you never know if someone is going to interpret your words exactly as you meant them.
Some helpful hints on conducting yourself on LinkedIn:
- Personalize each request to the person you’re messaging.
- Once connected with someone, send them a personal welcome message.
- Post to your feed regularly, but only post business-related content.
- Make sure you’re saying something with the content you post- simply sharing a link won’t get you noticed in the algorithm.
- Utilize new LinkedIn sharing tools (like videos) whenever they’re released – this helps get you noticed.
- Engage with people in your network regularly – comment on posts on their feeds, send endorsements, and direct messages.
- If you see a post that would be useful for a client, send it along!
As great as Linkedin can be, it can also be really annoying when people don’t follow some basic rules of conduct. To make sure you’re not bothering your connections (and any future connections) make sure you follow the following rules. Some of these are official rules from LinkedIn, some are unwritten social conduct rules.
- Send spam messages.
- Send irrelevant messages or mass messages to unrelated connections.
- Start a message with “I saw you viewed my profile…”
- Make your account private (the information you share shouldn’t be personal enough to be problematic for public view).
- Use LinkedIn to mine for emails to add to your email marketing lists.
- Send connection requests to total strangers.
- Ask strangers for recommendations or to endorse your skills.
- Post overly negative or critical content.
Business Pages Vs. Personal Profiles
While most of the above tips are useful for business profiles there are a few key differences. A business page should be exclusively about the business, where a personal profile is just that- personal!
Here are some FAQs
- I’m a solo-entrepreneur, which should I use? We have a follow up question for you: do you run a business, or are YOU the business? If you’re running a business make sure you have a business page, if you’re a freelancer you probably do not need a business page. If your business is a team-of-one make sure you’re focusing your time on your personal profile. If it’s a business where you are not the “face” or you expect to grow your staff in the near future focus on both your personal and business page.
- What should I post on a business page? You can post a lot of the same content on a business page as you would a personal page. But, anything that a business posts on LinkedIn should be tied back to the business in some way. Keeping active on a business page and using tools like video is just as important as it is for a personal page.
- Why is my business page getting less views than my personal page? Linkedin is a social network – its algorithm favors content that its users are more likely to interact with. Most people are more likely to interact with a post coming from someone they know rather than a business – even if they know that business well!
- How can I leverage my personal profile to grow my business page? Make sure that all the content that is posted to your business page is reshared to your personal page. Add your own thoughts to make sure that you’re giving valuable content people will interact with.
Navigating social media is our job! Want to talk about more specific Linkedin help with your profile? Let’s set up a strategy session.